Stitched, a digitalised platform providing curtains and blinds to customers using a combination of 3D customisation and augmented reality, has secured £200,000 from the Enterprise M3 Growth Fund to grow its marketing, sales, and finance teams to take the business to the next level. The investment is part of a £750k funding round, where the Enterprise M3 Growth fund is joined by FSE’s Angel Investor Network, Angel Academe, and existing investors.
Launched in 2018 by Elinor Pitt, Stitched is bringing the UK’s £1.1 billion made-to-measure curtain and blinds industry into the 21st century with an online only offering that is growing quickly and is benefitting from several tailwinds in the home décor sector. The business has developed sophisticated consumer and supply chain software that delivers a seamless digital experience for customers buying made-to-measure curtains and blinds online, and in the process efficiently organises a network of makers, larger workshops, fabric mills and retailers who are increasingly relying on the Stitched ecosystem to operate.
Made to measure curtains and blinds are complex and expensive products that are traditionally non-returnable. Whether buying online, in-home or in-store, there are very few digital tools that help the customer understand what they are buying. With the Stitched platform and AI-driven app, customers play a key part in the design process for their curtains and blinds, which are made in the UK and milled in Lancashire and Huddersfield.
Elinor Pitt, CEO and Founder of Stitched explains: “It is great to have Paul and the EM3 team join a funding round that has come at an extremely important time. Thanks to this investment, we will be able to capitalise on our key partnerships with Swoon and MADE and deliver high quality products to our customers. Additionally, we will be able to connect and effectively coordinate local mills, manufacturers, and makers to deliver these high-quality products online. These solutions will meet a critical market demand and will allow us to move to the next stage of growth.”
Paul Lyristis, Investment Manager, South East for The FSE Group, which manages the EM3 Growth Fund on behalf of Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), commented: “We were impressed by Elinor and the team’s sector experience and their excellent track record of growth. Stitched has digitised the entire value chain of ordering curtains and this is very much in line with developments in the home furnishing and décor sectors. We would like to thank Jonathan Hollis from Mountside Ventures for introducing us to Stitched, and we are delighted to be able to invest in this funding round. We look forward to working with Elinor and the Stitched team to ensure they reach their goals for growth.”
Sarah Turner, Co-Founder & CEO, Angel Academe, commented: “We've been part of the Stitched journey since 2019 so are delighted to see the business go from strength to strength. Elly's technical background and integrity as well as her vision and leadership are impressive. Stitched has successfully and creatively applied digital technology to transform how we buy curtains and blinds. The end results are superior, customised products made of eco fabrics from local mills and workshops, but without the high price-tag.”
Michael Queen, Chair at Enterprise M3 LEP adds: “The Covid19 pandemic has seen a step-change in the way consumers make purchases, accelerating the move to digital sales. Stitched has been ahead of the curve, bolstering an entire supply ecosystem along the way and utilising the latest technology to ensure success. Enterprise M3 LEP has a proud history of supporting highly innovative businesses, like Stitched, to grow and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to take part in this round of funding.”
The Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator is £10million initiative funded by Enterprise M3 LEP. The escalator, which includes an expansion loan scheme, a trade finance loan scheme and an equity growth fund, provides eligible companies with loans and equity funding between £50,000 and £300,000 for activities that will deliver high-growth and employment opportunities across the EM3 area.